In defense of Barbara Bouchey

K.R. Claviger spoke with a number of the people involved in the commodities investments debacle that Keith Raniere guided and where he lost/stole $65 million of Bronfman money.  He evidently sees culpability in Barbara Bouchey’s role.

For my own part, I see Barbara as a victim of Raniere. I see her as a good and noble person.

But even if, during the times she was with Raniere, she acted in a less than perfectly stellar way, consider also that, when she left, she left the cult firmly and positively. Decisively.  She took a number of important women with her [the Nxivm 9] which helped to crater the cult.

It was a slow cratering. It took nearly nine more years to crater.  But even in those early days – when there was just two major fighters of Nxivm – Toni Natalie and Joe O’Hara – neither of them wealthy or considered formidable then, Barb did not sneak away. She stood up to Raniere – her former boyfriend.  And as Toni and Joe did, she fought him bravely for years.

Other women left him – and there have been several – and they quaked in their boots.  Barb – although reluctantly, fought back.  Because she fought back, we are indebted to her for much of the damaging information about Keith Raniere that we presently know.

As an investigative reporter, I found Barb’s revelations about Raniere to be so helpful that I would categorize them not only as essential but of the rare kind of importance that I would call “but for.”  “But for” what I learned from the fight between Raniere and Barb, I would not have been able to mount my own attack on Raniere [which I may add, like Barb’s was largely in self-defense.]

In that respect, Barb was for me and other reporters a virtual encyclopedia of information of damaging info against Raniere.  It was she who revealed to the public that he lost $65 million in commodities. She publicly revealed his harem. She gave me hundreds of salient details and helped expose the underbelly of this beast.

Even when I was still working for Nxivm, she had a rare honesty. She was the one who told me that she was worried about the fact that the Bronfman sisters had invested $26 million into a Los Angeles real estate project and had nothing in their names.  She was punished for this too.

Nancy, Pam and the other ghoulish women circled around Barb and pounded her with EMs [Exploration of Meaning “therapy” sessions.]  I was told diplomatically by the women that I should not speak too much with Barb about things that might upset her – but to speak to Keith instead. She was much too skittish and too easily perturbed, they said, [poor thing] and how poor Nancy and Pam and the others would have to spend hours every day trying to get her nervous constitution back into balance.

At the time – I barely knew Barbara – it seemed not unreasonable to speak to the leader – Raniere – the man I technically owed loyalty to – since I was a consultant for Nxivm.

In retrospect, I see that they were manipulating Barbara and trying to keep us apart, keep us from comparing notes.

Whatever else one might say about Barb, she was, without a doubt, one of the critical people in the takedown of Keith Raniere. Without her efforts – I – as I said above – would not have had the fertile field to work with in my own efforts to fight and expose Raniere.

And I find Barbara – who I did not speak to from the time I saw her last in Albany in 2007 until after Raniere was indicted in 2018 – to be an extremely honest and forthright person.  She was, in interviews with me, extremely candid about her role in Nxivm, never dodging questions and considerate about everyone who may have suffered inside the cult.  While she and I may disagree on the value of Nxivm [sans Raniere] – she thinking it has merit and can be helpful to people and me believing that anything from Raniere must be rotten to the core – she and I do agree that Raniere is rotten to the core.

I do not believe that she is still in love with Keith, as some suggest.

I think her generous and good nature saw the best even in that rascal – when she was with him and no doubt she overlooked some pretty serious and what might have been evident flaws because of his charm and her kind nature.  She had wanted it to work and for all the best reasons: her own happiness, his happiness and yes – the welfare of the world.  Right or wrong, Barbara Bouchey believed that the mission of NXIVM was good.

And even after she broke up with Keith on a personal level, she remained in Nxivm trying to keep what she saw as the good of the mission alive and well.

The day dawned when she saw that Keith was incorrigible and so she left.

Give her credit for that. She stayed and was disappointed personally by Keith. But she stayed to keep the mission alive. She did not need the money. She was independently a success in business then. She is a success today in business.

There is a lot of misinformation that she was dependent on the Bronfman income. I don’t think it is true. Raniere was dependent on it. She had her own income.

In the end, she suffered a lot and did a brave act: She left and demanded her money back. The money he stole from her. She took others with her.

Compare her with some of the others who were also swindled, but chose to hide.  She put her name out there, She fought and gave as good as she got.

There were times Nxivm offered her deals along the way – all of which she flatly rejected. She went to law enforcement and was ignored. She – when she was sued by them – deliberately revealed shocking truths about Raniere – which the Times Union, the NY Post, and Metroland reported.

She gave important interviews to the NY Observer and Vanity Fair.

Without her, the foundation that later cracked and felled the house of Raniere might never have been exposed to the world.  For that alone, Barbara Bouchey deserves our appreciation.  Even if she was not an angel during the whole time she was with Raniere [like all the others who were angels], she fought like the devil to take him down.

Thanks, Barb.





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Frank Parlato


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    • You oughtta see her go on about Keith and Camelot lost in person! (Sorry, Barb, you know I care and it’s gots to be said. Sue me but I adore you. Though, I would not adore you the way you still do Keith and Nancy, after you sued me.)

      Truth is, Barb got so much heat over that interview — even Megan Kelly’s audience was like, “WTF?” “Did she just say Keith’s charming and all the witches set her up?!” — she suddenly started pretending she detests Keith but still clings to Nancy!”


  • Sorry Frank, but you’re WRONG bro.

    Bouchey is cosmic diarrhea.

    She deserves to have the shitty life that she currently has.

    If anybody here wishes to forgive her then you may as well forgive Keith and Clare bear too.

    • I agree with you. I’ve spoken with Barb, and out of respect of a private conversation, I won’t go into details … Barb’s current life can’t be that bad, Raniere is in jail, so he’s not screwing her, physically or in her mind, and he’s not suing her. That’s a great life compared to her previous 20 years of life.

  • I admire Barbara Bouchey for her financial nous and business success, its clear she worked hard for her gains which alone would have made her the object of envy for all those clueless ingrates and heiresses. Also I never met a basic bitch that believed in Camelot, its always the good and trusting that fall for dreams like that.

  • Flowers has many disintegrations and could be helped by Nxivm technology. Lauren Salzman could do Flowers therapy because Flowers was never in Nxivm so she could get Exploration of Meaning Therapy. For a few thousand dollars Flowers could be healed

  • Barbara caused a lot of harm and yet when she was with us she did a lot of good. Keith I know wishes her well. She is not as bad as Joe O’Hara Toni Natalie and the evil one Frank Parlato. These three are of Satan and are Satan’s children. Barbara could come back and Keith will forgive her.

    • My God, Pea. In your deluded state you have the audacity to point fingers and call things Satanic?
      What is more evil than Keith sexually molesting underage girls and advocating such? I wouldn’t be shocked to find Keith is a member of NAMBLA.
      Have you no decency, no morals?
      Oh, my bad. Folks in NXIVM would f-$%k a duck that’s how depraved you all became.
      How in the world did all of you find each other is what I want to know.
      Frankly none of you should ever show your face among society again.

  • Cudo’s, Barb. A lot of people do owe you their gratitude. I’d love to see you open up more on what Leon’s talking about. When you and Frank honestly describe the details of what the coven put you through — the love bombing, silent treatment, ridiculing, ostracizing, penis envy lecturing, begging, rewarding, promising, punishing, blaming, etc. — it puts a lot of your alleged “obliviousness” in perspective. When you talk about reviving the “good” in NX and your decades long, continued faith in Nancy Salzman, I just panic! Sorry. Frank had it right when he told us, “just a tiny drop of poison can contaminate a vat of liquid.” If it worked the opposite way, your and others drops of goodness would have purified NX. But it doesn’t work that way, Law of nature, like Frank says.

  • This paragraph really tells the story of NXVIM and makes me very angry since it’s a tactic used by abusers

    Nancy, Pam and the other ghoulish women circled around Barb and pounded her with EMs [Exploration of Meaning “therapy” sessions.] I was told diplomatically by the women that I should not speak too much with Barb about things that might upset her – but to speak to Keith instead. She was much too skittish and too easily perturbed, they said, [poor thing] and how poor Nancy and Pam and the others would have to spend hours every day trying to get her nervous constitution back into balance.

    Thank you for this insight into both Barbara Bouchey and yourself, Mr Parlato. For some unknown reason there are so many people commenting on this blog who are filled with suspicions about the people who were a part of NXIVM as well as the people who are commenting on the articles. This piece shows many of the people involved were just normal people who were fooled by the cunning KAR and the coven.

    • In MLM parlance, this is called “no crosslining.” The idea is to communicate only with those:

      1. Above you in the structure, who have been taught to only talk about “positive” things, such as how much money you will make in the future, and not “negative” things, such as how much money you have been losing; and

      2. Below you in the structure, who have been taught the same thing.

      The advertised theory, which is plausible but only part of the reason, is that different crosssline people are being taught slightly different things and it would cause confusion if they talked. In reality, each person is isolated from what is really going on above, below, and to the side of each person in the organization. It is quite clever, in a particularly evil kind of way.

      Frank and Barb are what is referred to as crossline, as they didn’t report to each other, but were in a “side” organization within NXIVM. In MLM, this is a great way to limit any damage done by people talking about facts, and maximize the amount of money that can be squeezed out of each person before they go broke and are forced to quit because they literally can’t afford to pay into the scam any longer. If you were confused whether I was talking about NXIVM or other MLMs in the above discussion, don’t be, because they work almost identical to each other.

      • Yes, Scott and it seems there were many crosslines within KAR’s empire right from the outset. Do you think Nancy Salzman had the whole picture? The more I think about it the more I’m inclined to believe the two ruled together. It seems they fed off each other.

        • I don’t know how much Nancy knew, but there were reports she wasn’t aware of DOS. The Feds will figure it out, they have tons of emails, financial, and other documents, plus the power of interviewing witnesses, including, possibly, even one or more of the currently indicted characters. When witness accounts are consistent with documents, it’s pretty much a slam dunk.

    • Festinger
      I’m wondering how you are able to feel anger over this abusive treatment of Bouchey, but yet you write abusive comments directed towards me while hiding behind a premise of concern. A person who was truly concerned about another person’s welfare (so very oddly concerned about a random stranger, too) wouldn’t do the types of things that you keep doing.😉

      • Flowers, I have not written abusive comments to you. You have chosen to paint my concern as abuse and it is not. Concern for strangers is something everyone should exhibit and it saddens me you only believe strangers harass you, abuse and attack you. I won’t address any further comments your way. I do believe you need help.

      • Have you ever heard that a drowning person is liable to attack and possibly drown other swimmers who attempt to rescue her? Or don’t you believe anyone cares enough to come to your emotional rescue, Flowers? If not, why are you flailing around screaming help, help, attacking, hacking, grabbing the attention of anyone who glances over at the commotion you’re making? Are you drowning or not? Or are you a trollup hiding under the bridge trying to drown out anyone who gets too close to the truth?

        Leon means well, Flowers. So do I and a thousand others who are here from time to time to help you and humanity.

        I’ve been meaning to ask you, Flowers, in Zen gardening flowers are rarely planted as they are considered a big distraction. I’ve wondered if Asian women don’t fair so well in corporate environments in Asia because they, too, are considered a big distraction?

      • Oddly concerned about a random stranger? Compassion maybe.

        You give as good as you get flowers. What is oddly concerning is someone that can competently defend herself and respond in kind playing victim time and again.

      • Whenever Flowers has some self-inflicted problem due to her narcissistic personality disorder and trying to control her neighbors, she arrives here to harass us. She lacks the maturity and reason to accept responsibility for the world she has created and doing something about it instead of attempting to pass her misery on to everyone else.

        • Frank, I thought you were screening the posts and removing abusive posts, but clearly this is not the case. Anonymous posters who feel the need to post fabricated bullshit about me (and about others) still have their posts published.

          Nutjob & Doc, if claims of harassment mean that the claimant is mentally ill, then by those same standards Heidi and Frank are also mentally ill, as both have claimed harassment.

          You sock puppets do understand the meaning of hypocrisy, right?

          Let’s see if you post this one…..

          • How could you possibly write this and believe your sorry and those of Frank and Heidi are comparable? You have claimed people posting comments on this board are harassing you. You have said Heidi is harassing you outside this blog. Come on….

            Nutjob & Doc, if claims of harassment mean that the claimant is mentally ill, then by those same standards Heidi and Frank are also mentally ill, as both have claimed harassment.

          • You sock puppets pretend to be idiots….but in reality one could that ignorant.
            Since Festinger claims to be so “compassionate” and “empathetic” , why would he try to embarrasses and humiliate me? I did nothing to him. I never engagged him, he engaged me. He has no idea if my story is real or not….its impossible for him to know what goes on in my life or in the life of any other stranger. He has no ability to know my reality.(Though his belief that he does have that knowledge is a common belief held by narcissists)

            The abuse tactics he and “”Heidi”” are using are common tactics used by narcissistic abusers. Please read up on the subject so you can understand what he/they are trying to do.

            It’s quite disturbing that Frank keeps posting their abusive bullshit (and odd that he made claims that he would stop these types of posts….)
            Care to explain, Frank?

            Anyways…I will keep doing what I do regardless….as I know that the truth always wins in the end – the criminals will be caught. Festinger&puppets SHOULD realize this- but obviously they are too arrogant to stop what they’re doing.

  • I am a daily reader of the FR and have been since April of 2018. I have never commented, but I felt compelled to share that this is my favorite article that I have read ( and I have read them all). Frank is coming from a place of thankfulness. It’s factual, kind, effective, and insightful. I have suffered through so many comments of anger, hate, etc. that THIS is what I have been waiting for! Thank you!

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

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Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083